The bourne supremacy, p.20
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       The Bourne Supremacy, p.20

         Part #2 of Jason Bourne series by Robert Ludlum
 
Page 20

 

  'How do I know! It was done -they were done. It's all here!'

  'Did you call the police?1

  'Christ, no! It's not for the police! It's for us, for me Can't you understand that. . . ? What did you find out? Why are you talking like this?'

  'Because I have to. In all the sessions, in all the months we talked we never said anything but the truth to each other because the truth is what you have to know. '

  'Mo! For God's sake, it's Marie!'

  'Please, David, let me finish. If they're lying - and they've lied before - I'll know it and I'll expose them. I couldn't do anything less. But I'm going to tell you exactly what they told me, what the number two man in the Far East Section made specifically clear, and what the chief of security for the State Department read to me as the events were officially logged. '

  'Officially logged. . . ?'

  'Yes. He said row called security-control a little over a week ago, and according to the log you were in a highly agitated state -�-'

  'I called them?'

  That's right, that's what he said. According to the logs, you claimed you had received threats; your speech was "incoherent" - that was the word they used - and you demanded additional security immediately. Because of the classified flag on your file, the request was bounced upstairs and the upper levels said, "Give him what he wants. Cool him. "'

  'I can't believe this!'

  'It's only the middle, David. Hear me out, because I'm listening to you. '

  'Okay. Go on. '

  That's it. Easy. Stay cool - no, strike that word "cool". '

  'Please do. '

  'Once the patrols were in place - again according to the logs you called twice more complaining that your guards weren't doing their job. You said they were drinking in their cars in front of your house, that they laughed at you when they accompanied you on the campus, that they - and here I quote - "They're making a mockery of what they're supposed to be doing. " I underlined that phrase. '

  'A "mockery". . . ? 'Easy, David. Here's the end of it, the end of the logs. You made a last call stating emphatically that you wanted everyone taken away - that your guards were your enemy, they were the men who wanted to kill you. In essence, you had transformed those who were trying to protect you into enemies who would attack you. '

  'And I'm sure that fits snugly into one of those bullshit psychiatric conclusions that had me converting - or perverting - my anxieties into paranoia. '

  'Very snugly,' said Panov. Too snugly. '

  'What did the number two in Far East tell you?

  Panov was silent for a moment. 'It's not what you want to hear, David, but he was adamant. They never heard of a banker or any influential taipan named Yao Ming. He said the way things were in Hong Kong these days, if there was such a person he'd have the dossier memorized. '

  'Does he think I made it all up! The name, the wife, the drug connection, the places, the circumstances the British reaction! For Christ's sake, 1 couldn't invent those things if 1

  'It'd be a stretch for you,' agreed the psychiatrist softly. 'Then everything I've just told you you're hearing for the first time and none of it makes sense? It's not the way you recall things?'

  'Mo, it's all a lie! 1 never called State. McAllister came to the house and told us both everything I've told you, including the Yao Ming story! And now she's gone, and I've been given a lead to follow. Why? For Christ's sake, what are they doing to us?'

  'I asked about McAllister,' said Panov, his tone suddenly angry. The Fast East deputy checked with State posting and called me back. They say McAllister flew into Hong Kong two weeks ago, that according to his very precise calendar he couldn't have been at your house in Maine. '

  'He was here!'

  'I think I believe you. '

  'What does that mean?'

  'Among other things, I can hear the truth in your voice, sometimes when you can't. Also that phrase "making a mockery" of something isn't generally in the vocabulary of a psychotic in a highly agitated state - certainly not in yours at your wildest. '

  'I'm not with you. '

  'Someone saw where you worked and what you did for a living and thought he'd add a little upgraded verbiage. Local colour, in your case. ' Then Panov exploded. 'My God, what are they doing?'

  'Locking me into a starting gate,' said Webb softly. They're forcing me to go after whatever it is they want. '

  'Sons of bitches}'

  'It's called recruitment. ' David stared at the wall. 'Stay away. Mo, there's nothing you can do. They've got all their pieces in place. I'm recruited. ' He hung up.

  Dazed, Webb walked out of his small office and stood in the Victorian hallway surveying the upturned furniture and the broken lamps, china and glass strewn across the floor of the living room beyond. Then words spoken by Panov earlier in the terrible conversation came to him: They're so incriminating. '

  approached the front door and opened it. He forced himself to look at the hand print in the centre of the upper panel, the dried blood dull and dark in the light of the carriage lamps. Then he drew closer and examined it.

  It was the imprint of a hand but not a handprint. There was the outline of a hand - the impression, the palm and the extended fingers - but no breaks in the bloody form, no creases or indentations that a bleeding hand pressed against hard wood would reveal, no identifying marks, no isolated parts of the flesh held in place so as to stamp its own particular characteristics. It was like a flat, coloured shadow from a piece of stained glass, no planes other than the single impression. A glove? A rubber glove?

  David drew his eyes away and slowly turned to the staircase in the middle of the hallway, his thoughts haltingly centring on other words spoken by another man. A strange man with a mesmerizing voice.

  Perhaps you should examine the note further. . . . It may all become clearer to you with help - psychiatric help.

  Webb suddenly screamed, the terror within him growing as he ran to the staircase and raced up the steps to the bedroom, where he stared at the typewritten note on the bed. He picked it up with sickening fear and carried it to his wife's dressing table. He turned on the lamp and studied the print under the light.

  If the heart within him could have burst, it would have blown apart. Instead, Jason Bourne coldly examined the note before him.

  The slightly bent, irregular rs were there, as well as the ds, the upper staves incomplete, breaking off at the halfway mark.

  The note had been written on his own typewriter. Recruitment.

  Chapter Six

  He sat on the rocks above the beach, knowing he had to think clearly. He had to define what was before him and what was expected of him and then how to out-think whoever was manipulating him. Above all, he knew he could not give in to panic, even the perception of panic - a panicked man was dangerous, a risk to be eliminated. If he went over the edge, he would only ensure the death of Marie and himself; it was that simple. Everything was so delicate - violently delicate.

  David Webb was out of the question. Jason Bourne had to assume control. Jesus! It was crazy! Mo Panov had told him to walk on the beach - as Webb - and now he had to sit there as Bourne, thinking things out as Bourne would think them out - he had to deny one part of himself and accept the opposite.

 
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